A Wilson Cup berth will be on the line this Saturday as head coach Scott Morrison and his No. 2-seeded Lakehead Thunderwolves men’s basketball team travel to Windsor, Ontario to take on the No. 1 Lancers, 7:00 p.m. EST at the St. Denis Centre. The OUA West Division Championship game will be the first in Lakehead men’s basketball history.
The Pack and the Lancers have met twice this season as they split their season series 1-1, late January at Windsor. The Lancers earned home court advantage in that series, however, by outscoring the ‘Wolves through in those contests. With his team facing a hostile road crowd as the lower seed, coach Morrison says that his team is relishing the opportunity to play spoiler.
"It is great to be playing in March for the first time in a few seasons however there is not one person on our roster satisfied with what has been done thus far,” the seven-year coach says. “We are focused on being as prepared as possible for a very good Windsor team and we are looking forward to be playing the more familiar underdog role for the first time in weeks. Our goal will be to play consistent for 40 minutes and hope to be in the game to begin the fourth quarter where anything can happen."
Windsor will be webcasting the game live on SSNCanada.ca.
The ‘Wolves got contributions from several players during their semi-final defeat of Waterloo last Saturday at home led by a potent frontcourt. Freshman Ryan Thomson (Oakville, Ontario) had a clutch performance with 20 points on 8-13 shooting with three 3-pointers and five rebounds, displaying the poise of a veteran. Sophomore post Yoosrie Salhia (Toronto) overcame a tough first half during which he failed to register a single point or rebound to put up a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Both players will need to make big contributions against the Lancers.
In the backcourt, senior guard Jamie Searle (Belleville, Ontario) had a quiet 2-9 shooting night with six points but contributed in other ways with six assists and six rebounds. The Thunderwolves’ leading scorer from the regular season, Searle will be looking for his shot at Windsor.
Point guard Greg Carter (Ottawa) is one of the nation’s top defenders and with three steals his constant harassment of Waterloo’s guards was a huge player in the Warrior’s 4-27 second half shooting effort last Saturday. Off the bench, sophomore Joe Jones (Washington, D. C.) had a tough OUA playoff debut but will need to contribute on both ends of the floor for Lakehead to continue their playoff success.
Another Wolf who struggled with his shot last weekend was senior forward Andrew Hackner (Thunder Bay). The team’s ‘glue guy’ shot 46.8% from beyond the arc during the regular season and is a strong defender and rebounder. Post Seb Kasiuk (Barrie, Ontario) stepped up with a huge eight-point game against the Warriors and will be ready for action if called upon this weekend.
Head coach Chris Oliver and his veteran team punched their ticket to this game with a win last Saturday over the Laurier Golden Hawks. Senior Isaac Kuon (Mississauga, Ontario) is Windsor’s offensive leader and showed his ability against WLU with 22 points on 10-16 shooting with five rebounds and three steals.
Big fifth-year senior Nigel Johnson-Tyghter (Brampton, Ontario) will be Lakehead’s defensive focus in the paint. Johnson-Tyghter was dominant last weekend with 16 points and 11 rebounds while the team’s third scoring option, Andre Smyth (Windsor, Ontario) had 13 points on 6-7 shooting.